Does Indian Society Appreciate Honest People?
We Indians are A -Grade hypocrites.Does our system honour and respect an honest man ? Is there any place for a man in league with values in our society ? Give me an honest answer !! We are living in times when giving and accepting bribe is a normal phenomenon.Against this backdrop,what's the survival chances of an officer who does not accept bribes?
Today the worth of any government official or any individual is measured in terms of money he/she has earned during cream postings. Any official who is incapable of doing so is not only marginalized but also hailed as "लंठ" (moron).He is ridiculed by the peers and accused of being over smart.Sometimes back I saw the movie "Shool".Have a look at this movie to acknowledge the worth of honest official in our society.You may find my remarks bit appalling but the sad reality is that we appreciate people in league with wrong values.
No wonder why parents give their daughters only to sarkari babu(government employee).Reason? Because that ensures extra flow of cash (ऊपर की कमाई).When the parents search for a suitable groom for their daughter ,they ensure that prospective is employed in a government institution. You are in government job.Okay. However,what impresses the family of bride is the "ऊपर की कमाई"(extra income earned through wrong means)and not the post on which the groom is working.Now that's the drama taking place in Indian society.Imagine the plight of person who is not a government official and also honest !!
I must say our system does not encourage good individuals. Here people are both eager to give and accept bribes.No body feels anything bad about it.It's so normal in our times. That's why when officials meet they often discuss prices of land ,prices of latest model of cars,prices of latest gadgets. Do you think this discussion would have been possible had they been living life without wrong sources of income? 'Foul is fair' in our days.
People now give and take without an iota of guilt.Anyone who cannot do that feels guilty for being too dull headed to learn the tricks of give and take business.Yes,it's an age where people like SRK are being paid not less than five crore for a ten minute 'naach gaana'(singing and dancing) act in a party of business tycoon. What I am trying to say that when money has gained so much importance in our times,the people are ready to any extent to fulfill their suppressed desires.The programmes like "Sach Ka Saamna" are based on this principle that money has the power to make people do anything both in private and public !!
I always believe that honesty pays rich dividends but when I look from the eyes of common man's eyes or from the eyes of people trapped in harsh realities of world honesty has never paid rich dividends.It means no better school for children, it means visiting Sarkaari(government) hospital and it means living a life devoid of class.I realize that a life based on values is always rewarding whether one gets credit for it or not but then our world is comprised of lesser mortals .We cannot anticipate their problems from higher plane of thought !!!! A friend of mine provided me the link which said how an IAS couple made millions via corrupt practices.We have Chief Ministers who are involved scams of all sorts.Look at Mr Madhu Koda who is "charged with laundering money worth over Rs. 4000 crores" !!Now look at the data that brings in open the state of affairs in India.
Average Life Satisfaction Ranking -
Per Capita GDP Ranking - 83rd/104
WEF Global Competitiveness Index - 49th/133
UN Human Development Index - 132nd/179
Heritage/WSJ Economic Freedom Index - 123rd/178
TI Corruption Perceptions Index - 85th/180
Vision of Humanity Global Peace Index - 122nd/144
India ranks at 45 in the Prosperity Index.
I sometimes feel corruption should be provided some legality.Look at the prices of essential commodities. Imagine the plight of parents whose wards are studying in B-Grade schools. I am not taking about elite or higher middle class.I am talking about lower middle class and poorer section of society. There are only two reasons why lower middle class gives and takes bribes.One is that we want to become hi-fi as early as possible and second one is that we are always chased by insecurities.We think if we don't accept bribes we may not be able to survive in this age when almost everything comes at a price.We cannot ignore this logic.
The sad reality is that whole system designed in India is not aimed at providing ease to aam aadmi(common man).It's built to exploit common man as often as possible. I don't wish to quote incidents the examples but I have enough reasons to prove that hollow idealism is not going to solve the problem. Just overheard yesterday that a big official paid 15 lakhs for a cream posting. Move inside the corridors of UP secretariat and you will know the definition of give and take.
People are ready to pay and the modern definition of honesty is that a officer is a good one if he does your work after accepting the bribe. My friends who are preparing for civil services apart from many other dreams have hopes of earning quick money in quick time.I know many others who have just entered into the services.They tell me :" Arvind, the situation is horrible.Sabka commission fix hai..kya kare (every officer needs his/her share in the booty)".
Worse, the people who have paid money to get the services their first aim is to get back the money they have given to get the service.How will they cover up if they don't accept bribes.? And the one's that have not yet been selected dream of making huge money once they get selected.It ensures beautiful wife from a big family. We are living in times where even the 10th failed when gets married hopes of getting "phatphatiya"(bike) :-)).So what's wrong if officers in making hope of getting huge dowry :-))
I don't think likes of Madhu Koda amassed huge wealth via acts of Charity? Bribe culture exists because nobody is ashamed to be part of this circle. Please don't label me as pessimist when I talk about legalizing bribe culture but only wish to say that when it's so common what's the need to make fuss about it ?
However,I realize that a life based on values always produces good result in a sense that it leads to expansion of one's own self.In fact,I too have great faith in system and in cherished values.Though I am surrounded by negativities I am still mired in optimism.I am not going to lose hopes in better values.However,do the common man who does not have access to evolved thoughts can feel happiness in being honest ?